Ask an expert

15 Jan 2008

Shingles vaccine
Should a person who has had a case of shingles receive the shingles vaccine following recovery? If so, how long a time should the person wait before getting it? If not, why would a physician recommend receiving the vaccine? What are the chances of getting shingles again, with or without the vaccine?

Thank you.
Answer 2,469 views

01 Jan 0001

Dear Jan
I don't think Zostavax is available in South Africa yet, if it is, yes I would recommend getting it as one can get repeated shingles infection. You should have recovered fully from the shingles attack before getting the vaccine.
Shingles can recur, but the risk is low (about 1% to 5% chance). There is some evidence that a first zoster episode boosts the immune system to ward off another attack. People with impaired immune systems, such as those with AIDS or cancer, does not get this booster effect, and these patients are at particular risk for multiple recurrences of shingles.
You could ask Merck SA if it is available? 011 372 5000
Dr Bets
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
33% - 9324 votes
67% - 18755 votes